Two practices that facilitate openness and receptivity to hope in ourselves and others are words of encouragement and the prayer of intercession. A supportive email, a kind word, a handwritten note, a bouquet of flowers, a pat on the back, a post on Facebook, all are practical reminders that one is not alone, that one can count on the support of family and friends. Words and actions of friendship, consolation, and encouragement offer an oasis and sense of community to those who isolate themselves as they bear the weight of disheartenment, desperation, and distress. Knowing that one is being prayed for can open a person's soul to be receptive to hope. More than strong-arming God to get what we want or doing a rain dance long enough to obtain the desired results, the prayer of intercession, like spiritual direction and words of encouragement, is a reminder that the gratuity of grace is never exhausted and never expires. This simple knowledge leaves behind a furrow in the field of the desperate and despairing.
—from the book Soul Training with the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis by Albert Haase, OFM
†Saint Quote "He who carries God in his heart bears heaven with him wherever he goes." — St. Ignatius of Loyola
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Little by little, we can make our daily life more and more prayerful, as we are able, over time, to incorporate those suggestions that work with our schedule and that we are ready for spiritually. There is a particular spiritual practice that Francis [de Sales] highly recommends that is possible for all of us: even on those 'impossible' days when we are perhaps unable to undertake our normal spiritual practices, we can stay rooted in prayer by constantly addressing brief prayers to the Lord. These can be acts of love, of adoration, of faith, of hope, of petition, or simply saying the name of Jesus—throughout the course of the day. Francis places a very high value on these simple utterances, traditionally called ejaculatory prayers or aspirations." — Ralph Martin, p. 135 AN EXCERPT FROM Fulfillment of all Desire
† VERSE OF THE DAY "To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen." Jude 1:24-25
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POPE ST. DAMASUS I
Pope St. Damasus I (306-384 A.D.) was born into a Christian family in Rome. He became a deacon and served at the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Rome where his father served as priest. After the death of Pope Liberius, Damasus was elected Pope in the year 366 A.D. Violence broke out as a rival pope was also elected, and the two factions fought to enforce their candidate. Damasus was confirmed as the rightful pope by the Roman Emperor, and the anti-pope was banished from the city. Pope Damasus chose the scripture scholar St. Jerome as his personal secretary, to whom he commissioned the translation of the Bible into Latin (the Latin Vulgate). It was during Damasus' reign that Christianity was declared the religion of the Roman state. Pope Damasus also called the Council of Rome in 382 A.D. to clarify the canon of Sacred Scripture. He opposed heresy, worked to preserve the catacombs, and advocated for devotion to the Christians martyred under the Roman persecutions. His feast day is December 11.
Friday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 185 Reading 1
Thus says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea; Your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its grains, Their name never cut off or blotted out from my presence.
PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6
R. (see John 8:12) Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life. Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life. He is like a tree planted near running water, That yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers. R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life. Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. R. Those who follow you, Lord, will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Lord will come; go out to meet him! He is the prince of peace. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to the crowds: "To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, 'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.' For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, 'He is possessed by a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is vindicated by her works."
Daily Meditation: Matthew 11:16-19
We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. (Matthew 11:17)
Jesus compares "this generation" (Matthew 11:16) to children demanding that their playmates always follow their lead: dance when they play a lilting tune, mourn when they sing a dirge. But Jesus himself did not follow along; in fact, he told the crowd, "Wisdom is vindicated by her works" (11:19). In other words, accept or reject something based on the fruit it bears, not on whether it is in step with current opinion.
We might think that the children in today's Gospel are kind of silly. But their attitude can teach us how to receive Jesus more fully this Christmas. Obviously, we're all sinners, so we know that Jesus won't always be in step with our opinions or our preferences. So we shouldn't expect him always to fit into our carefully designed plans. Instead, we need to listen for the music he's playing. How is he asking us to join in his dance? Is he asking us to go beyond a narrow mindset that limits our expectations? Or maybe he is inviting us to encounter him in new ways.
What might this look like? For some of us, it could mean being willing to serve side by side with fellow believers who might disagree with us on some points of doctrine or politics. Or maybe we will sense Jesus nudging us to put aside a judgmental thought about that neighbor who always seems to look down her nose on us. We might try to understand the viewpoint of people from a different social or economic background so that we see them in a new way. Or perhaps the Spirit is asking us to distance ourselves from conversations that aren't all that upbuilding.
The more we go out of ourselves and try our best to get in tune with Jesus' thoughts and actions, the closer we will draw to him. That will help us receive him more fully as we celebrate his birth at Christmas.
The song of the kingdom is playing, and Jesus is inviting you to join him. Don't let anything stand in the way!
"Jesus, I want to follow your lead, not expect you to follow mine."
Isaiah 48:17-19 Psalm 1:1-4, 6
God would have given us something greater if he had something greater than Himself. — St. John Vianney
my2cents: "I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go." And then He speaks about HIS commandments. Most people water down HIS commandments, saying "ahh you just got to be "good" and not kill or steal, that's all". In a nutshell, that is a lie that millions follow. It is a watered down message. Our Lord asks for the truth and lives the truth with every aspect of His being.
We pray and meditate: "Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night."
From Bishop Barron Today: Friends, in today's Gospel Jesus says, "The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'"
The Passover meal was decisively important in salvation history. God commands that his people share a meal to remember their liberation from slavery. This supper provides the context for the deepest theologizing of the Israelite community. Both the bitterness of their slavery and the sweetest of their liberation are acted out in this sacred meal.
Jesus' life and ministry can be interpreted in light of this symbol. From the very beginning, Jesus was laid in a manger, for he would be food for a hungry world. Much of Jesus' public outreach centered on sacred meals, where everyone was invited: rich and poor, saints and sinners, the sick and the outcast. They thought John the Baptist was a weird ascetic, but they called Jesus a glutton and a wine-bibber. He embodies Yahweh's desire to eat a convivial meal with his people.
And of course, the life and teaching of Jesus comes to a sort of climax at the meal that we call the Last Supper. The Eucharist is what we do in the in-between times, between the death of the Lord and his coming in glory. It is the meal that even now anticipates the perfect meal of fellowship with God.
Reflect: How does the Eucharist bring us as close to God as possible here on earth?
Random Bible verse from online generator
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace
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